Monday, December 23, 2013

Fatal Railroad Accident Kills One, Injures Another 1883

An unfortunate accident occurred at the Mississippi and Tennessee railway depot, foot of Main street, this
forenoon, by which a colored brakeman named Alf Martin lost his life, and another named George Stokes had his leg crushed and broken, which may result perhaps in amputation.  The two men named were residents of this city.  both were on a caboose car engaged in switching from one track to another where lumber was in course of loading, and by the oversight of a switchman in not moving a pin to change the rail quick enough, the caboose car ran down upon a timber car, the collision throwing the two men out so that Martin was killed outright and Stokes injured as described.  The man martin was a faithful hand who has worked for the railway for seven or eight years, while Stokes has also been an appreciated laborer.  The latter has no family, and it has not been ascertained whether or not Martin has, but at the inquest held by Esquire Galloway the dead man's mother was present.  A number of witnesses were examined at the inquest, but no blame attached to any person engaged on the tracks, and a verdict was rendered in accordance.
Originally published in the Public Ledger December 22 1883.

According to the Register of Deaths, Alfred Martin was single and 30 at the time of his death and a native of Mississippi. He was interred at Elmwood Cemetery.

George Stokes was married to Margaret "Maggie" Bland. George and Maggie appear in the 1880 Census for Garner, Yalobush County Mississippi.  His occupation, railroad laborer.  George died sometime prior to 1900 because Maggie is listed as a widow with four children: Walter, Ada, George and Mary.  In 1910 Maggie appears in the Census living in Memphis with her children: Walter age 29, George Jr age 25 and Mary E age 20.  Maggie died in 1923 and was interred at Zion Christian Cemetery.  Both George Jr and Walter worked in the railroad business just like their dad, George Sr.  George Jr died in 1931 and is interred at Mount Carmel.  Walter died in 1949, his wife Lizzie Stokes was the informant on the Death Certificate.  Walter was interred at Mount Carmel too.  Ada Stokes Moss, a daughter of George and Maggie, passed on in 1945 and was interred at New Park Cemetery. 

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